Furloughed? 11 Tips to Guide You

Published: 05-04-2008
It's never too late to change careers if it will make you a happier person.

1. Call and email everyone you know in the aviation business

That's right, everyone. Even people you've neglected to call for sometime. It's time to let them know your predicament, and to seek their advice. Tell them the story ofwhat happened to your airline (no angrydiatribes), and ask to contact you if they hear of any job leads.

Remember, you're not begging for a job, you're asking them for feedback. Your fellow pilots will feel your plight, and many will offer to help you.

2. Go to airline pilot job fairs

Every few months there are airline pilot job fairs around the country.The big player is Fltops.com. Also check the APC job fairs discussion board:http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=51

3. Become active at airline pilot forums

If you haven't yet, join the message boards at www.airlinepilotforums.com and www.propilotworld.com. Use the Search feature to dig up information and scoop on airlines you're interested in working for. The collective wisdom of the members at these forums is massive, so don't overlook their potential in helping you in your job search.

4. Update your resume

Now is the time to update that dusty resume. If you need a template tostart with, download APC's sample resume under the Downloads section. Get your logbook organized, andyour resume brought up to date.

5. Get your interview attire ready to go

Take that old suit that hasn't been worn in a decade to the cleaners,shine your shoes, and get the rest of your attire ready for the eventual interview(s).

6. Start a new hobby

That's right-- now's the perfect time to break out of your comfortzone that you've been in for so long.Why? Because during this often stressful time you need something tooccupy your mind and give you somethingexciting and new. Always wanted to learn to play the guitar? Or toscuba dive? Now's the perfect time.If you're being forced to change your job, why not create your ownchange by starting up a new hobby, sport,
or project around the house?

7. Realize that behind every setback is the opportunity for improvement in your life

You might now realize that what really matters is family. Your familydidn't disappear, and you now havethe opportunity to spend more time with them than usual. The furlough just might be setting the stage foryour next job which even more rewarding or a better fit. A furlough is not the end of the world, it only seemsthat way if you allow yourself to get wrapped up in the negativity ofthis temporary situation.

8. Check the online job listings

An informative thread that shows you where to find pilot jobs on the internet (registering required):http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/showthread.php?t=16445

9. Check the flight crew leasing companies if you're willing to work overseas

Although the hiring picture in the US isn't looking good after yearsof aggressive hiring, in Asia, the MiddleEast, and Europe there are a good number of openings. APC has compiled a list of the major flight crew leasing companies,and jobs exist there for current and qualified large transport (B737,A320, etc) captains and firstofficers. This list was updated this week:

10. Download APC's "Pilot Job Search Worksheet"

Go to www.airlinepilotcentral.com, and click Downloads. Click on "Pilot Job Search Worksheet" about half way down the page. A helpful PDF for organizing your job search.

11. Don't give up

Day to day, your furlough will sometimes seem like it will never end.Negative thoughts will creep into your head, telling you that you'll never get hired anywhere else, that the market is too grim, etc, etc. Beware of this "stinkin' thinkin'." Many pilots have been through multiple furloughs,each time able to get a new job somewhere else. If you stay proactive, you will be at a big advantage over yourpeers. The ones who sulk, feel sorryfor themselves, begin to hate the industry, and have a bad attitudewon't be doing very well in an interview.If you're a current and qualified captain, look for direct entry positions. If you're a regional FO, look for other hiring regionals or fractionals. Be realistic, but not despondent. Watch yourattitude at all times, as you want to stay energetic andoptimistic while seeking a new job.

Finally, for some it means an exit from the industry. If you're one of those people, then make a clean break and move aggressively forward in developing your new career path. It's never too late to change careers if it will make you a happier person.

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